Perspective | From Captain Kirk to the Dalai Lama, An Insurance Word to the Wise

By: | January 5, 2021

Roger Crombie is a United Kingdom-based columnist for Risk & Insurance®. He can be reached at [email protected]

Usually, in this space, I comment about insurance. For a change, I thought I’d let others do the talking.

Let’s start with Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise. In “Return to Tomorrow,” he offers a mission statement for us all when he says: “Risk! Risk is our business.”

“I don’t want to tell you how much insurance I carry with the Prudential, but all I can say is: when I go, they go too.” — Jack Benny

“Having lunch at a restaurant on a first-floor balcony on Hamilton, Bermuda’s Front Street, taking in the sights of boats and ferries setting off across to other towns around the Great Sound, I found myself utterly baffled by the jargon-filled conversation of two insurance men. They sat drinking iced tea, looking immaculate in crisp button-down shirts, ties and blue blazers. Given the soaring midday temperature, I thought they must be unbearably hot.

“It was only when they left that I noticed they were wearing shorts. True, they were elegant, camel-colored shorts with sharp creases and turn-ups, but I still found myself laughing. These guys, these overgrown Just Williams, were running the world of insurance?” — journalist John McCarthy

“The insane asylums are filled with people who think they’re Jesus or Satan. Very few have delusions of being the guy down the block who works for an insurance company.” — Julia Roberts as Patricia Watson, in the movie “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

“Simply by not owning three medium-sized castles in Tuscany, I have saved enough money in the last 40 years on insurance premiums alone to buy a medium-sized castle in Tuscany.” — Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Insurance companies move in mysterious ways. Like God, of course, but not half as generous.” — Dan Duryea as Standish in the 1965 movie “Flight of the Phoenix.”

“You don’t need to pray to God any more when there are storms in the sky, but you do have to be insured.” — Bertholt Brecht

“Religion is more than a fire insurance policy. Religion is insurance in this world against fire in the next.” — Unattributed

“Then take the whole business of insurance, the enormous mass of administrative and clerical labor it involves, and all utter waste …” — From The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

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“I once met a girl in Omaha, Nebraska. She hated me and I hated her. It was mutual of Omaha.” — Groucho Marx

“Look, when you rob a guy who’s got insurance, you’re doing him a favor. You give him a little excitement in his life, a story to tell. He becomes a more interesting person because you robbed him. You boost the insurance company because robbing him gets people to buy insurance.” — Sean Connery as Duke Anderson in the movie “The Anderson Tapes.”

“Certainty has become a consumer product. It is marketed the world over by insurance companies [and others].” — psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer

Finally, an abiding truth, courtesy of the Dalai Lama: “Physically you are a human being, but mentally you are incomplete. Given that we have this physical human form, we must safeguard our mental capacity for judgement. For that, we cannot take out insurance; the insurance company is within.” &

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